2010.04.08 13:00 - about mantra's

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Lia Rikugun. The comments are by Darren islar.

    Wol Euler: hello yaku
    Yakuzza Lethecus: nabend lia
    Wol Euler: hello lia
    Lia Rikugun: hello wol hello yaku

    --BELL--

    Yakuzza Lethecus: hi liza :)
    Yakuzza Lethecus: darren :)
    Wol Euler: hello darren
    Darren Islar: thanks :-)
    Darren Islar: hi all
    Lia Rikugun: hello darren
    Yakuzza Lethecus: oh, no text over ur av today
    Yakuzza Lethecus: sry for mentioning that then
    Darren Islar: no, I think by now most will know
    Wol Euler nods.

    It became soon clear that everyone wasn't at there best and that supposingly not much was going to happen

    Yakuzza Lethecus: so how is everyone today ?
    Wol Euler: tired
    Darren Islar: nice topic :-)
    Lia Rikugun: me too tired :)
    Yakuzza Lethecus: 3rd in line :)
    Wol Euler: :)
    Darren Islar: well I guess that leaves us Yaku
    Lia Rikugun: haha the tired people
    Darren Islar: oh, so I'm alone today actually
    Yakuzza Lethecus: you have us :D
    Darren Islar: to talk to yes :-)

    So I start to tell them a buddhist (bedtime) story about big street and small street

    Darren Islar: so, what is it you want me to talk about?
    Darren Islar: then i will do the talking and let you sleep :-)
    Wol Euler smiles
    Yakuzza Lethecus: you could read us a bedtime story, you have some buddhist literature to share ?
    Lia Rikugun: Zzzzzzz :)
    Lia Rikugun: hey yes nice
    Darren Islar: oh......eh...... well most story's I only now half of it
    Darren Islar: well maybe I have one
    Darren Islar: but I need to look up how the end is like exactly
    Darren Islar: but I can send that to the CoG so the right story will be told
    Darren Islar: who is that?
    Lia Rikugun: i am
    Darren Islar: ok

    Yakuzza Lethecus: nabend bert
    Bertram Jacobus: hy everybody ! ...
    Wol Euler: hallo bert
    Darren Islar: hi bert
    Bertram Jacobus: :-))

    Darren Islar: well it is a story about a rich familiy from the time that the historic Buddha also roamed the earth
    Darren Islar: this family wanted to get a baby
    Darren Islar: but somehow all baby's died short after there birth
    Darren Islar: so the father asked for the help of a priest
    Darren Islar: the priest said that when a baby is born
    Darren Islar: they should take it to a street
    Darren Islar: and ask everyone who was passing by
    Darren Islar: to bless the child
    Darren Islar: so, a child was born
    Darren Islar: and the father asked to one of his servants, to take the child to a big street
    Darren Islar: and to ask everybody that passed by to give his blessing to the child
    Darren Islar: so the servant went to the street and did what was asked of him
    Darren Islar: it was a big street, so a lot of people passed by
    Darren Islar: and they were all willing to bless the child
    Darren Islar: so the child got a lot of blessings, even from arhats, enlightened ones

    Darren Islar: not long after that a second child was born
    Darren Islar: so the father send out another servant to the street to ask for blessings
    Darren Islar: but this servant was a bit lazy
    Darren Islar: so in stead of going to the big street, he went to a smaller street that happened to be more nearby
    Darren Islar: not much people came by
    Darren Islar: actually there was only one
    Darren Islar: but of all people that happened to be the Buddha
    Darren Islar: the historic buddha, the one and only :-)
    Darren Islar: of course he blessed the child when he was asked to do so

    --BELL--

    Darren Islar: both brothers grew up
    Darren Islar: one was smart, learned well, was kean and when he got older he thrived very well in a monastery
    Darren Islar: becoming an arhat
    Darren Islar: the younger brother, called small street, was not doing so well
    Darren Islar: he seemed to be to stupid to learn anything
    Darren Islar: so nobody knew what to do with him
    Darren Islar: even his own brother, called big street, didn't know
    Darren Islar: when his brother came to his monastery to become a monk
    Darren Islar: but whatever big street did, he couldn't learn his brother anything
    Darren Islar: so he started wondering what to do

    Wol Euler: ((hello mick))
    Mickorod Renard: Hiya Guys
    Mickorod Renard: hey Bertie
    Bertram Jacobus: hey mick ...
    Mickorod Renard: not seen u a few days

    Darren Islar: should he accept the situation, or maybe it was better for his little brother to kick him out
    Darren Islar: because he thought, maybe he just don't want to
    Darren Islar: and maybe this was the best way to help him
    Darren Islar: finally he decided to try and kicked him out
    Darren Islar: so small street ended up at the street and not for the first time
    Darren Islar: he felt a lot of desperation knowing himself that he was no good
    Darren Islar: then a fellow came along and asked him what happened, because clearly small street was in greet distress
    Darren Islar: small street answered that he was no good and not able to learn anything

    Mickorod Renard: thanks Lia
    Lia Rikugun: :) my pleasure
    Lia Rikugun: (sent mick the story..)
    Mickorod Renard: :)
    Darren Islar: (I understood:-))
    Darren Islar: hi Mick
    Mickorod Renard: yo

    Darren Islar: the fellow asked if small street wanted to come to his monastary
    Darren Islar: but small street said, but you will kick me out also, as all the others did
    Darren Islar: the fellow said no I am not, because I am the Buddha
    Darren Islar: finally small street got up and followed the Buddha
    Darren Islar: when they came to the monastary the Buddha thought: what is the best way I can learn this guy something
    Darren Islar: He decided to let him sweep the monastary, day after day
    Darren Islar: and he said to small street: every time you you sweep the floor, you say to yourself: I sweep away the dust and I clean the floor
    Darren Islar: but after a while and a lot of energy later, it was clear that this was to hard for small street to remember
    Darren Islar: so Buddha needed to come up with another plan
    Darren Islar: He gave small street another assignment, asking him to clean the shoes of his students
    Darren Islar: his students he told them to give the shoes to small street and every time they did that, they needed to say: get the dust of my shoes and clean them
    Darren Islar: so, of course all the students did, and small street did his job, now knowing what to do
    Darren Islar: he just needed to clean the shoes of the students
    Darren Islar: so he did, day after day, year after year
    Darren Islar: then something happened when again one of Buddha's students said again to him: get the dust of my shoes and clean them
    Darren Islar: suddenly he understood there was another meaning to this
    Darren Islar: clearing the dust to get rid of everything that can ruin our 'shoes'
    Darren Islar: and cleaning them so nothing could get attached to the shoes again

    --BELL--

    Darren Islar: suddenly small street understood it was all about enlightenment
    Darren Islar: he instantly became a Buddha
    Darren Islar: end of story

    And of course after the story there were questions, having gotten myself into a problematic situation, not knowing the answers myself :-)

    Lia Rikugun: :) wow
    Darren Islar: and now I'm tired :-)
    Wol Euler smiles. Thank you, Darren.
    Darren Islar: my pleasure
    Mickorod Renard: thanks Darren,,very nice
    Lia Rikugun: thank you darren!
    Yakuzza Lethecus: yes, thx very much :)
    Lia Rikugun: so we can all become buddhas :)
    Darren Islar: yes, all living creatures
    Yakuzza Lethecus: exploring our buddhah nature :)
    Darren Islar: and becoming a buddha isn't that complicated
    Darren Islar: sometimes :-)
    Darren Islar: yes
    Darren Islar: being blessed by the Buddha
    Yakuzza Lethecus: is it about ,,more or or better" insight ?

    Talk to me about buddhism, and you might well end up with hours, days of information. So watch it if you ask me for another buddhist story :-) In my enthusiasm I took another step, brought in new information

    Darren Islar: You have two different kinds of Buddhism
    Yakuzza Lethecus: isn´t that again even a problem
    Darren Islar: in Mahayana buddhism being enlightened doesn't mean you are a Buddha
    Darren Islar: meaning Yaku?
    Darren Islar: It is my own interpratation, but the blessings tell us something of what you bring out of your previous lives
    Darren Islar: big street obviously had worked hard, and gained a lot of good karma
    Darren Islar: but small street probably did something special
    Darren Islar: once upon a time
    Lia Rikugun: what do you mean by that: special?
    Darren Islar: I don't know, maybe one day he did the right thing
    Lia Rikugun: hm
    Darren Islar: without studying for it
    Darren Islar: just knowing
    Darren Islar: could be anything
    Lia Rikugun: :)
    Darren Islar: there are more stories like that
    Mickorod Renard: maybe he was just innocent,,even though he was lazy
    Yakuzza Lethecus: he wasn't lazy

    Then I even took it a step further forgetting about the fact that not everyone in PaB knows about Buddhism. Stupid me!! So after a while I asked Lia if it was a good idea that I would post the log, so that I could put in some clarifications

    So suddenly I brought up the six paramita's, but being a bit rusty, I couldn't remember them all. Lucky for me Bert gave me a helping hand
    Wikipedia gives the following description of the paramitas: In Buddhism, the pāramitās refer to the perfection or culmination of certain virtues. In Buddhism, these virtues are cultivated as a way of purification, purifying karma and helping the aspirant to live an unobstructed life, while reaching the goal of enlightenment.

    Mahayana Buddhism,  lists the six perfections as (original terms in Sanskrit):
       1.    generosity, giving of oneself
        2.    virtue, morality, discipline, proper conduct
        3.    patience, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, endurance
        4.    energy, diligence, vigor, effort
        5.    one-pointed concentration, contemplation
        6.    wisdom, insight

    Darren Islar: and in every story you will find elements of enthusiasm, patience, wisdom etc
    Darren Islar: I need to look it up but together there are six and are very important tools
    Darren Islar: I will look it up for the log
    Darren Islar: free giving is one
    Lia Rikugun: yes please i am interested to read the other stories too
    Darren Islar: so if you look very close to simple stories like this, there is a lot of information on different levels
    Yakuzza Lethecus concentrates upon his breathing
    Darren Islar: to intellectual people like me and like big street it is sometimes hard to belief that simple recitations can be enough to become a Buddha :-)
    Wol Euler nods.
    Darren Islar: reciting is the word
    Bertram Jacobus: the six paramitas : giving, ethics, patience, not being lazy, mediation and wisdom
    Darren Islar: thanks bert
    Bertram Jacobus: very welcome

    A little part that I will leave out, not wanting to show that to the whole world, makes Lia ask the next question

    Lia Rikugun: what is the mantra?
    Darren Islar: sorry
    Darren Islar: a mantra is normally a part of a prayer
    Darren Islar: it is a recitation of a few words
    Lia Rikugun: so you recite these six words and after repeating enough times you will become a buddha
    Lia Rikugun: i need to try
    Darren Islar: sometimes there are also visualizations u can use
    Lia Rikugun: giving, ethics, patience, not being lazy, mediation and wisdom
    Lia Rikugun: giving, ethics, patience, not being lazy, mediation and wisdom
    Darren Islar: no lia
    Lia Rikugun: ...
    Darren Islar: the six paramitas is not a mantra

    I can't blame Lia for getting a little bit confused here. I'm afraid I'm not the best teacher :-)
    So let's see again what the Wikipedia can tell us on this item:
    A mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that are considered capable of "creating transformation". Their use and type varies according to the school and philosophy associated with the mantra.
    Darren: most of the time a mantra is a short sentence, like 'Ohm mani pad me hum' (Ohm mani peme hung), with a certain meaning, not selden related to a buddha or boddhisatva. Each word has a specific meaning and often means much more then 'just a word'. Ohm itself is a construction of three words, together you could say they mean or include the universe. Most words used in mantra's have meanings on multiple levels.
    Connected to a buddha or boddhisatva it is often used in a prayer or devotion. Because there are a lot of buddha's and boddhisatva's there are also a lot of mantra's. This prayer or devotion always starts with taking refuge in Buddha, Dharma (knowledge) and Sangha (a group of monks or other practitioners). This refuge means that we are willing to become a buddha. In Mahayana Buddhism there is a phrase added that says that you want to become a buddha to help all sentient beings to become enlightened too. After taking refuge there are offerings and wishes made to the buddha or boddhisatva that will help you becoming a buddha. Those parts of the practice are considered to be very important in Buddhism, because this is giving you the right base and attitude to recite mantra's or to go into meditation.
    Mantra's are always recited at least three times, but 7 times, 21, 100 or even more are very common. To know how much mantra's you are reciting you use a mala, which is a string with 108, 109, 110 or 111 beats (most are 108, but should actually be 111), so you know exactly how much mantra's you are reciting. In Tibetan Buddhism mantra's can be sung, but most of the time they are recited very quickly, in a fast tempo, uttering the words, often not more then just the beginning of a sound.
    Those mantra's sometimes are taken lightly, everybody reciting mantra's, but actually shouldn't be taken lightly. They are part of a tradition and imbedded in prayers or devotions. When the Dalai Lama visited the Netherlands, somebody of the public asked to do a mantra. The Dalai Lama said 'no' right away and suggested to do a silent meditation instead. Why he said 'no' I don't know, but maybe for the reasons I just described.
    After that the Dalai Lama made a joke about the mantra that was suggested, being Ohm mani peme hung. He took out his mala and said that when you recite it very quickly (as Tibetans do) it sounds like oh money money, oh money money :-).

    --BELL--

    Darren Islar: 'Ohm mani pad me hum' is a mantra
    Darren Islar: oh this is hard in english
    Darren Islar: it is the mantra of Avalokiteshvara, representing compassion
    Lia Rikugun: i think bert did you sing this in malta?
    Darren Islar: oh, what is the word
    Yakuzza Lethecus: :)
    Darren Islar: every word has a meaning on different levels
    Darren Islar: by repeating them it has a certain effect on you
    Darren Islar: you can also chant them yes
    Bertram Jacobus: yes - the om mani peme hung mantra (tibetan form, not the sanskrit)
    Darren Islar: :-)
    Lia Rikugun: ok
    Darren Islar: that is the way you pronounce it
    Lia Rikugun: but it would not make any sense for me to recite it if i dont know the meaning, is this correct?
    Lia Rikugun: for me these are just words
    Lia Rikugun: or letters

    Ah, yes and no. Without knowing the meaning a prayer and a mantra do has an effect, but of course, the more you know about it the more it can help you, with the emphazise on 'can'. You can also use visualizations that are recommended to a certain mantra.

    Yakuzza Lethecus sneaks away with his little don´t know mind
    Yakuzza Lethecus: thx darren, bye everyone
    Lia Rikugun: bye yaku
    Darren Islar: bye Yaku

    Darren Islar: Ohm mani peme hung is the most used one
    Darren Islar: you could say it is some kind of code
    Darren Islar: that works on many levels
    Darren Islar: to recite them you use a mala
    Darren Islar: same device that catholics use to say their ave maria's
    Darren Islar: a mall is only twice the amount of beats
    Darren Islar: so you can count your mantra's

    Mickorod Renard: gotta go,,c u guys
    Bertram Jacobus: bye mick ...
    Wol Euler: bye mick, take care
    Mickorod Renard: thankyou

    And to make it even more complicated (Darren when are you going to shut up :-)):

    Darren Islar: sometimes you take a vogh
    Darren Islar: to do a specific amount of mantra's every day
    Darren Islar: bye Mick
    Darren Islar: so you need to count them
    Darren Islar: besides that you do 3, 21 or 111 mantra's

    Darren Islar: sorry I get carried away
    Darren Islar: :-))))
    Wol Euler: :)
    Lia Rikugun: :)

    Ah, finally……..

    Lia Rikugun: i think i need to read more about the meaning
    Lia Rikugun: just read on wikipedia :)
    Darren Islar: yes, it is hard to explain in a few words
    Lia Rikugun: i guess it is also a feeling
    Darren Islar: I don;t want to linger on it so try to make it short and then forgetting half of it
    Bertram Jacobus: the most important aspect, i´d say, that it´s a spiritual practice (!) with effects ...
    Lia Rikugun: what would you say are the effects bertram?
    Bertram Jacobus: nothing lia - because the practice is the most important aspect ;-)
    Darren Islar: you need to do it to really understand
    Darren Islar: right bert :-)
    Lia Rikugun: but can i if I don't really understand what it means?
    Darren Islar: well, you'd better get some information
    Lia Rikugun: :)
    Darren Islar: talk with people who know more
    Darren Islar: going to teachings with a real teacher that can explain things
    Darren Islar: and give you a form of bases
    Bertram Jacobus: "yes, you can" - and may be understanding will grow slowly then too. but again : that´s not the most important thing. can help, but can also disturb - depends on the relations of all : you, practice, knowing, devotion ... so many aspects ...
    Darren Islar: they do, even if you don't always understand what they are talking about :-)
    Lia Rikugun: wow this sounds so mysterious
    Darren Islar: well, because of the disturbance you can better inbedded it
    Darren Islar: learning more about it
    Darren Islar: getting familiar with it
    Darren Islar: then you will find out it isn't that mysterious
    Darren Islar: :-)
    Darren Islar: you just need to know how to do it
    Lia Rikugun: i will see what experience i will have with that
    Lia Rikugun: i am not sure it is completely the right thing for me
    Lia Rikugun: maybe visualizing is more something related to me
    Darren Islar: I am not a teacher
    Lia Rikugun: but well i can try out :)
    Darren Islar: but maybe I can get you into contact with somebody that can explain those things better
    Darren Islar: because it is not only about doing the mantra
    Darren Islar: it is also about learning
    Lia Rikugun: sure thats always interesting
    Darren Islar: it can take a while, but I'll find someone
    Darren Islar: :-)
    Lia Rikugun: :) cool

    I hope I did some explanation in this log

    --BELL--

    Lia Rikugun: the thing is, i am new to all this i guess and i dont know what possibilities there are so it is good to get ideas
    Darren Islar: true
    Lia Rikugun: and choose from the possibilities some i like
    Darren Islar: also true

    Bertram Jacobus: sry - i´ll leave ... ty for the meeting ! cu sooninsh allah ;-)
    Lia Rikugun: byebert
    Darren Islar: bye bert
    Bertram Jacobus: may all beings be happy please ! *wave* ...
    Wol Euler: bye bert
    Wol Euler: take care

    Darren Islar: but it is a lot and hard to explain in just an hour
    Lia Rikugun: yes
    Bertram Jacobus: don´t know what that means exactly ;o)
    Darren Islar: and I am so used to mantra's that I thought everybody would understand what i meant
    Darren Islar: which isn't true of course
    Lia Rikugun: somehow i thought of mantras as images
    Lia Rikugun: circles
    Lia Rikugun: or something
    Lia Rikugun: but maybe i am confusing something
    Darren Islar: ah, well on a deeper level, you might be right
    Lia Rikugun: i think i mixed things up :)
    Lia Rikugun: thank you for the explanations darren
    Lia Rikugun: i need to leave an go to bed
    Darren Islar: yw
    Lia Rikugun: will post the log tomorrow
    Darren Islar: maybe I should Liza take the log
    Darren Islar: explaining a few things along the line
    Lia Rikugun: ok you want to?
    Darren Islar: yes no problem
    Lia Rikugun: ok good, thats a good idea
    Lia Rikugun: you can give all the background info
    Lia Rikugun: :)
    Lia Rikugun: good night you all
    Lia Rikugun: or you two, wol and darren
    Darren Islar: nite Lia
    Wol Euler: bye lia, sleep well

    Darren Islar: well in a minute I will have an identity problem
    Wol Euler smiles
    Wol Euler: tricky.
    Darren Islar: :-)
    Darren Islar: she's not rezzing very well
    Darren Islar: maybe she's tired
    Wol Euler: :)
    Wol Euler: that might be it.
    Darren Islar: did you get some sleep at all last night?
    Wol Euler: sorry, pila just reminded me, it's time for CafH at the cafe!
    Wol Euler: I forgot :(
    Darren Islar: okay see you
    Wol Euler: bye for now, darren
    Darren Islar: bye

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